Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why I Sometimes Want to Kidnap Little Brown Boys


This world is backwards. A lot of people are nicer to complete strangers than they are to their own children. I don't care how much attitude you have. I don't care how foul-mouthed you are. There are certain people in your life you owe complete respect and kindess: your parents, your spouse and, yes, your children.

Because they're "yours," some people seem to think they can treat their children any ol' way. I completely disagree. Parents should model for their children the type of behavior they want them to display. In my case, I want Zara to be kind and respectful, so that's how I treat her.

Not everyone takes this approach.

Jus the other day, I saw a woman tell her no-older-than-6-years-old son "If you don't shut the F_ _ _ up, little boy..." I was in Target. I think he was pestering her about getting something. Begging children can be ANNOYING, I'll admit, but to talk to a child-your own child-like that is never called for.  I was so bothered. I wanted to just grab that little boy and bring him home with me. I'm not saying the woman is a bad mother. I dont know her in the least and have no business judging her overall parenting, but in that moment, she got an F. 

I notice a lot of times its mothers speaking this way to their sons. That makes it even worse. There seems to be an abundance of low quality men that have no clue how to relate to and respect women. This is no surprise when you consider the first relationship any male has with a woman is with his mother. If she curses him out as a child, its extremely easy for him to grow up and repeat that same behavior with women.

It's a cycle.

I'm even more disgusted when I see brown mothers doing this to their Little Brown Boys (LBBs). LBBs are born with targets on their back. It seems the world is just waiting to label them as "bad" and "disruptive." LBBs are more likely to be punished for their behavior in school and more likely to be held back and put in remedial classes. This is not because they're intrinsically flawed. It's because the odds are stacked against them. Every mother of a LBB should know this and do everything in her power to fight it. Cursing at your son and calling him things like "lil nigga" (yes, I've heard people say this) is downright criminal and teaches him that he has little worth and even less potential.

I don't have a son, but I have nephews (6 and 9m), and we've constantly covering them in the protective salve of kind, self-affirming words. We fill in every crack with love and reassurance that they are nothing less than the best and worthy of good things. They doesn't realize it, but they internalize these messages, and will be able to project them back out into the world when they get older.

It's a cycle.

Regardless of if you have a Little Brown Boy, a Little White Boys, a Little Yellow Boy, or a Little Brown-White-and-Yellow Boy, treat him with respect. Fill the space around him with beautiful words that let him know just how special he really is.

Leelou Blogs

Zara's Mommy,
Nadirah Angail


  1. I love your post!! Affirming words are definately needed!!! Stopping by from SITS!!

  2. Amen! I have always cringed at what I hear people saying to their kids. Those children are there to be loved and nurtured!
    Came over from SITS.

  3. I completely agree with you. There have been times where I seriously want to scoop small children into my arms and run. Fortunately, I've calmed myself and not actually kidnapped anyone. Wonderful post!

    Visiting from SITS

  4. What a great post! I'm a mom of two little brown boys (and two little brown girls). I am all too aware of the fact that they will cease to be "cute" in the eyes of society all too soon and be seen as *insert random negative word here*.

  5. You have spoken the truth. I am all too aware of the fact that I'm raising a little brown boy. I'm trying my best to raise him with empathy and kindness. It's hard knowing that society only pays lip service to those ideals and will try hard to undo my hard work. Hopefully we can withstand that in the years to come.

  6. Navel, there's no hoping about it. You WILL be able to withstand it, because you're going to raise your son right. You know what you're up against and are doing what needs to be done!

  7. This is an awesome post. Parents shouldn't speak to their children like this ever no matter what the color. You have an awesome blog.


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